David V. Kerns, Jr., Ph.D., P.E.
Provost, and Franklin and Mary Olin Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering


Key Documents

The Search for Design in Electrical Engineering Education

The Olin College Georgia Tech Lorraine Undergraduate Engineering Education Partnership

Dr. David V. Kerns, Jr. is Provost and the Franklin and Mary Olin Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. He was formerly the Orrin Henry Ingram Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he served in the positions of Electrical Engineering Department Chair, Associate Dean, and Acting Dean of Engineering. He has also served on the faculties of Bucknell, Auburn, and Florida State Universities, and was instrumental in establishing a microelectronics research program and educational laboratory at each of these institutions. He directed the Management of Technology program at Vanderbilt University and developed and taught courses in entrepreneurship for engineering students.

Dr. Kerns also was a member of the technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he designed and developed bipolar analog and CMOS digital integrated circuits. In 1978, he co-founded and served as President of Insouth Microsystems, Inc., a microelectronics company that produced solid-state sensors, hybrid microcircuits, and silicon VLSI devices.

He has a variety of patents and inventions. He is co-inventor of one of the first silicon MEMS technologies, a micromachined accelerometer patented in 1985; his company produced the first commercial single-chip silicon accelerometers. Dr. Kerns is most recently co-inventor of a new diamond-based gas-sensing technology, and is inventor of a revolutionary sunglass lens that highlights a tennis ball against any background.

He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Florida State University in 1967, 1968, and 1971, respectively. He was named a Fellow of the IEEE in 1991 for "contributions to engineering education and research in microelectronics"; he continues consulting and research in MEMS devices, analog circuit design, silicon-based optoelectronics, radiation effects on microelectronics, and engineering education.

Dr. Kerns has published extensively and presented his work at numerous conferences worldwide. He is a member of the IEEE, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and ASEE; he serves on a committee of The National Academy of Engineering Committee on Engineering Education; he is Vice President of the IEEE Education Society and serves on its AdCom. Recognized for outstanding undergraduate teaching, he is the co-author of a successful textbook, Introduction to Electrical Engineering (Prentice-Hall).
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